Alice M. Batzel
by Alice M. Batzel
I turn the calendar page and pause.
Today, August begins.
Summer's end whispers in the breeze,
though the sweltering dry heat still lingers.
Nearby farmers' fields and home gardens are in harvest.
Ripened fruits and vegetables weigh down many kitchen counters,
waiting for hot water baths and pressure canners.
Distant summer fires spill over mountains and valleys.
The evening sun turns red. Smoke billows skyward.
The horizon is a purple haze.
Absent is the laughter of children running in the yard's sprinklers.
Nature's uncontrollable flames burn closer,
displacing many each day.
A dear friend's funeral this past week,
his granddaughter holds a newborn baby in her arms,
a nearby farm is lost to the blaze.
I water my small garden with a mask on my face.
Smoke creeps in silence and chokes me.
Little birds chirp and dance about, but soon take flight.
A more sure abode they do seek.
Bird, bloom, harvest, sunrise, sunset,
birth, death, even my very breath
reminds me that nature is on a rampage
and is not done yet.
Be kind, August.
(copyright 8/1/2018, rev. 1/24/2020 - Alice M. Batzel - all rights reserved)
(Photo source: From the Facebook page of The REAL Linnie's Place and Don Forrester)